Bombshell news broke over the last week that the Tolkien estate and Warner Bros are currently in talks with Amazon to develop a Lord of the Rings TV show. Check out the article here. It is still unclear whether they are looking to reboot the books/movies into a longer, episodic format or are looking to tell a new story from the same universe.
This has me nervously excited. I loved reading the books as a kid and the movie trilogy will always be near the top of my list of favorites. Book series are naturally suited for tv over movies, evident with success of shows like Game of Thrones. TV grants almost limitless time, over multiple seasons to dive into a world and tell each character’s story in full. One of the reasons we often say “the book is better than the movie” is due to the time constraints of fitting a 700 page novel into a 2-3hr film. That hurdle is eliminated with television.
That being said, I think a straight reboot of the main Lord of the Rings story would be difficult to pull off. The movies defied expectations and captivated a generation, still holding a special place in the hearts of fans. They would certainly be the benchmark for any would be reboot. Creating the same magic that director Peter Jackson was able is a tall order indeed, espically considering a tv or online show would need to maintain at high quality over an extended period of time.
A completely new story, told within the world of Middle Earth would unquestionably be the better route to take. The two most recent video games: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War have had solid success and are good examples of weaving new characters into the familiar LOTR universe. It would be fascinating to see a story from the point of view of any one of the many races that populate Middle Earth.
This will definitely be something I keep my eyes on to see how it unfolds. Hopefully whoever takes on this colossal task, whatever form it takes, will have the patience and attention to detail that made the movies such a special adaptation of Tolkein’s masterpiece. Stay tuned!